COVID-19 Announcement

The Scottish Storytelling Centre and John Knox House are closed to the public until further notice. Read More.

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Scotland the When – A Mad God’s Dream

It’s August—must be time for the Edinburgh Festivals! Only this year it isn’t. But don’t despair because A Mad God’s Dream brings you lust, intrigue, backstage drama, plot and counter-plot from the Edinburgh Festival. Ossian, the mainstage festival drama—is it a nationalist epic?—comes direct to your ever smaller screens. Donald Smith’s wicked novella summons up the … Continued

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Scotland the When – Bojo Comes to Holyrood

Cometh the hour, cometh the…? It is terrifying to watch the disconnection and bluster at the centre of UK government, as the Covid-19 impacts stack up. But the warning signs were there, and the key characters, as this humorous satire by Donald Smith shows. It was a laugh or cry moment when Bojo came to … Continued

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A Time for Reflection and Looking Ahead: Midsummer Celebrations at Home

We just celebrated the summer solstice–the longest day of the year–on Sunday, and we’re enjoying the longer daylight hours that summer brings. On Wednesday 24 June, we will celebrate midsummer in Scotland. Midsummer has its roots as a Celtic fire festival, blessing the crops for a fruitful summer harvest with bonfires and using torches to … Continued

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In the Flow – SISF 2020 will explore Scotland’s coasts and waters through music and storytelling

We’re excited to announce that the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, which runs from 17 – 31 October 2020, will keep you ‘In the Flow’ with an eclectic mix of online events and small-scale face-to-face performances, celebrating Scotland ‘a nation shaped by water’, taking you on voyages at home and away. Stories and songs are vital … Continued

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Scotland the When – The Irish Hoard

‘The Irish Hoard’ is a humorous take on life in Scotland’s far southwest. A metal detector find sparks political and cultural mayhem in the Machars, leading finally to a would-be terrorist heist and a consoling touch of romance. In the background Brexit provokes chaos, Creative Scotland is in meltdown, and there is some dodgy traffic … Continued

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Scottish Heroes: Tales of Bravery to Inspire

During these trying times, we’ve found stories and fiction to be more important than ever in their power to transport us to other worlds. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite courageous Scots because we believe in listening and reading stories that move and inspire us right now. From the ever-popular Minerva McGonagall from … Continued

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We Are Creating Lockdown Lore

It’s been hard to miss the various creative responses to the restrictions, mandatory and self-imposed, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. From the weekly outbreak of applause, pot-banging and bell-ringing in appreciation of the health workers, to rainbows in windows, and comedian Janey Godley’s affectionate parodies of the First Minister, people have been making sense of … Continued

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Scotland the When – Bardie’s Dream

Last year we celebrated big time the centenary of folklorist, poet and radical, Hamish Henderson. But is there more to Henderson than meets the popular eye? This fictional tale, by Donald Smith, re-imagines Henderson’s inner connection with Perthshire and the mystery of his parenthood. Who was Bardie and what dreams did Hamish live by? Bardie’s … Continued

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Rebirth and Starlore – When All is Dark, We Turn to the Stars

“The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.” (Neil DeGrasse Tyson) However, as humans we cannot help but marvel at the great infinite sky and the sheer number of stars and constellations. We can trace first cave drawings of stars as far back as the stone age and we owe much of … Continued

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World Dance Day – Connecting Two Worlds by Leonie Sweeney

For many years two important parts of my life ran along in parallel. My life in traditional dance arose from my own enjoyment of Irish and Scottish social dance and the old-style stepping traditions of both countries. Sharing the Irish Sets and Scottish Cèilidh dances I learned over the years seemed a natural thing to … Continued

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